Jump to content

Recommended Posts

31 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

???

I think it was you that posted about the guy who made all the melodies in the Zelda for N64 with just a few keys. 

Im talking about making melodies with a limited amount of Notes, keys or whatever you want to call it. 

If you still dont understand what Im talking about then u don't need to answer. 👌

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, cern said:

the guy who made all the melodies in the Zelda for N64 

not just the melodies, the whole soundtrack. he's also the composer of super mario. 

12 minutes ago, cern said:

Im talking about making melodies with a limited amount of Notes, keys or whatever you want to call it. 

a limited amount of notes. 

oh ok. yeah, you can come up with many different melodies from a limited set of notes, all you need is a few carefully selected intervals. which is super cool.

check out the chord at 2:10 for example, it contains all intervals and it only has 4 notes: 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah i think i got carried away with the video i posted lol 

the chord he plays is just a nice little oddity that's not meant to be used as a scale, since it sounds terrible as such :biggrin: yeah, if you're gonna use a 4-note scale, don't pick one that contains both a b2 and a tritone, probably not the best idea lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Youtube has lots of tutorials for writing melodies.
I like this tutorial series:

That channel seems underrated to me: it has good content but relatively few views.

 

I also like all Nelward's tutorials. This is the most relevant one for making melodies:

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

yeah, if you're gonna use a 4-note scale, don't pick one that contains both a b2 and a tritone, probably not the best idea lol

A 4-note scale that contains both a b2 and a tritone can be perfect if the goal is to write something that sounds raw and aggressive, e.g. a punk or metal riff

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

yeah i think i got carried away with the video i posted lol 

the chord he plays is just a nice little oddity that's not meant to be used as a scale, since it sounds terrible as such :biggrin: yeah, if you're gonna use a 4-note scale, don't pick one that contains both a b2 and a tritone, probably not the best idea lol

It's a perfectly good beginning of a scale. If you add the fifth and the dominant 7 you have a pretty cool sounding symmetric subset of the diminished scale. In fact I discovered that four-note chord myself though my obsession with the diminished scale. I always thought of it as a 7 sus b5 chord. Like, when you're in regular major you can have a suspended fourth and move it down to the third, but if you're in the dim scale you have a augmented fourth instead. The move F7susb5 -> F7 was to me a very compelling sound and a sort of parallel reality version of the regular suspended movement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

music theory is just knowledge of how music works, i don't see how understanding constraints anything. there's no such thing as understanding too much.

maybe didn't explain it properly. I was pointing to a specific methodology that focuses a lot on every aspect of a note as isolated individuals, rather than considering it to the context of the previous or next note. For me a punk riff has the same status as an aria of mozart or a jazz improvisation. Obviusly this can derivate to a different kind of conversation but you know what I mean.

the devil is in the details 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ArtificialDisco said:

It's a perfectly good beginning of a scale. If you add the fifth and the dominant 7 you have a pretty cool sounding symmetric subset of the diminished scale. In fact I discovered that four-note chord myself though my obsession with the diminished scale. I always thought of it as a 7 sus b5 chord. Like, when you're in regular major you can have a suspended fourth and move it down to the third, but if you're in the dim scale you have a augmented fourth instead. The move F7susb5 -> F7 was to me a very compelling sound and a sort of parallel reality version of the regular suspended movement.

sounds interesting, i'll check that out on the keyboard tomorrow, i'm in bed now. but yeah, it's totally a portion of the diminished scale.

2 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

if you're gonna use a 4-note scale, don't pick one that contains both a b2 and a tritone, probably not the best idea lol

i just realized this is completely false. the problem isn't the b2 and the b5, at all.

for example (i'm quickly checking this out using an online piano), if the notes were C Db Gb Bb (instead of C Db E Gb), that would be a Gb lydian voicing. both of these scales have the b2 and the b5, yet one sounds gorgeous and the other is dissonant.

and btw, "both a b2 and a tritone" is a misleading choice of words. what i meant is "both the b2 and b5", the scale degrees if you will. i'm saying this to avoid any confusion, as the chord in the video also contains intervals between different scale degrees. had i meant a b2 and a tritone between any scale degree, the notes could be C D# E Bb for example, which gives us a C7(#9) chord, which isn't much dissonant - it's basically a blues voicing.

all this to say that the dissonance in that scale has nothing to do with the presence of both the b2 and b5, there are plenty of chords and melodies that contain these intervals and sound gorgeous, duh. i really have to think harder before i post dumb shit like that.  no, that scale is dissonant for a different reason. i'll look into it tomorrow. 

1 hour ago, Diurn said:

I was pointing to a specific methodology that focuses a lot on every aspect of a note as isolated individuals, rather than considering it to the context of the previous or next note.

yeah that's one massive straw man though, as music theory does the exact opposite of that. the approach you're arguing for is precisely the one used by music theory. lol

Edited by brian trageskin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Diurn said:

For me a punk riff has the same status as an aria of mozart or a jazz improvisation.

music theory doesn't give a shit about that either. music is music, whether it's avant-garde or some trap beat made by a 12-year old.

you have big misconceptions about music theory, my friend. 

Edited by brian trageskin
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, brian trageskin said:

you have big misconceptions about music theory, my friend. 

don't take it personally, thank you.

and yes music is music, because when we gathered on a campfire like tribal communities ages ago, playing flutes and drums, on that time music theory didn't exist. And yes I've studied and have certain knowledge on the topic, but I prefer to stay away on the petulance of some when thinking about it as an institution to be revered.

Edited by Diurn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is tl;dr  Just learn some fucking theory, it's not even complicated and you can get a decent grasp on it in like a week probably.  Lol at this resistance so many electronic musicians seem to have, as if learning theory is going to box them in. You're already boxed in, as long as you're using the 12 tone tempered system, which you automatically are with any keyboard instrument or equiment or DAW or anything, unless you're making your own tunings (or maybe if you're only working with samples, but even then...) but tbh making your own tunings requires an even more extensive knowledge than standard elementary music theory, so you'd have to be pretty committed to this notion of being unique and unrestricted.  My point is, if you are using any standard equipment or instrument to make tracks then you're already working within the tempered system/Western musical theory whether you like it or not. The things you come up with using uneducated, "unrestricted creativity" are still based on that thing you have not learned. And most often your lack of knowledge gives you away. Most of these folks write the most idiotic sounding melodies which in fact sound particularly restricted by the standard tuning system because of the limited options known to you... Just learn some fucking theory, jesus christ  (this is not directed at anyone in particular btw)

Edited by toaoaoad
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A musician saying he doesn't want to know music theory because it will limit his creativity is like an explorer in the ancient times saying he doesn't want to have a map made by other explorers because it will limit his plans for journeys. And then the explorer travels around for a decade, choosing what direction to go to based on his whims. During his travels, he thinks he's arrived at some novel places and made some exciting discoveries. When he's back from his journey, the places he's been to are mapped onto existing maps. It turns out, of course, that all the places he went to had already been mapped out by other explorers long before he started his journey

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has theory for boards of canada been brought up in this thread? Maybe it deserves it's own... Like can someone examine some of those hazy melodies and technically describe what's going on?. Cause I can't and I'd like to know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know much music theory but i dont see how knowing any would help you recreate a melody that you have stuck in your head. You could argue that knowing the names of intervals just from hearing them is helpful but thats pretty basic in terms of theory and you intuitively learn stuff like the number of piano keys away you need to play the next note to make it sound the way you want anyway. I dont think music theory is generally harmful, i just doubt the usefulness for this way of composition. This topic has been done to death on this forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, yekker said:

Has theory for boards of canada been brought up in this thread? Maybe it deserves it's own... Like can someone examine some of those hazy melodies and technically describe what's going on?. Cause I can't and I'd like to know.

There was one thread about it on Twoism: https://www.twoism.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13818&sid=024357f25989d069481c25dda06edb83.
I would also like read more about this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, vkxwz said:

I dont know much music theory but i dont see how knowing any would help you recreate a melody that you have stuck in your head. 

knowing theory not only makes this process way easier and faster, it also gives you options to choose from so you can generate more music. to use ghostword's analogy, you might prefer navigating without a map and compass, groping in the dark, trying to reinvent the wheel every 10 minutes - i personally think it's a waste of time (btw i said earlier itt i thought learning theory might be a waste of time if you aren't looking for a particular type of harmony - i don't believe that in the least bit actually, i don't know why i said that)

i'm not saying one shouldn't experiment btw, quite the opposite. you need to experiment as much as you can, but you also need a conceptual framework and some level of understanding if you want this to be fruitful.

9 hours ago, vkxwz said:

This topic has been done to death on this forum.

yeah this topic has been done to death because people still don't understand the benefits of learning theory and keep rehashing the same tired bullshit arguments and misconceptions, i agree  :cisfor: 

(no offense meant)

Edited by brian trageskin
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have huge respect for music theory.

I can not just go and slam the keyboard and like "boom" what a hit!

My difficulties is just to understand what minor/major notes and Melodies I can play together with the basslines and drums I make so it plays along very well. 

😬

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

the chorus melody in this + 3:13 in

i learned the chord progressions of this tune btw, cause i really liked the chorus. props to thiefinger for the solid songwriting.

Love the harmony and structure of this but the melody is pretty flat tbh. Pretty much arps until 3:40 - the next 20secs is okay but would really benefit from some phrasing over the bar lines. It works but isn't a great example of melodic writing imo.
The return from 4:03 - 4:07 is super satisfying but again it's harmony rather than melody making it so.

Do you write brian? I'm in agreement that theory only widens the palette readily available to you, would like to hear your stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, brian trageskin said:

knowing theory not only makes this process way easier and faster, it also gives you options to choose from so you can generate more music.

Yeah in terms of generating more music i get(i think) that it gives you all these ways to make new versions and combinations and things that wont sound wrong, but i have no interest in that personally. There are other ways of coming up with new music and the process of transfering from mind to music is what i would think most important, so what are some examples of how theory would help that.

 

Edited by vkxwz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, vkxwz said:

There are other ways of coming up with new music and the process of transfering from mind to brain is what i would think most important, so what are some examples of how theory would help that.

What do you mean by transferring from mind to brain? Is there some sort of duality there that I'm not aware of?

Basically theory makes it easier for you to get the sounds from your imagination onto your medium of choice:
You might have a harmony you like looping around in your head but without knowing what those chords are (how to play them or click them into a sequencer) you're forced to work by trial and error which is slow, frustrating and might never get you there.
If you know the theory you can listen in your head and recognise the sound as a I6/9 to VIb7 or whatever, then putting it into the sequencer is quick and easy. Theory also means you know that looking at those two previous chords there is modal mixture going on (first chord is major, second chord is borrowed from the minor key with the same root) and that opens up other possibilities for where the music goes next.

Knowing how to get to a particular sound with as few obstacles as possible is a good thing. The more sounds you know how to achieve the better.

There's production theory too it just has a shorter history and isn't as codified so people don't get as intimidated or annoyed by it.
If you want something to sound like it's coming from far away you'd lower the volume, cut the high and low freqs (inverse square law, Robinson–Dadson, evolution, babies etc.) + send it through a reverb with little to no pre-delay because if the sound source is distant in the real world you won't hear the direct sound before you hear the reverberations.

You can still just twiddle knobs and jam and see what sounds cool but knowing how to achieve what you have in your head is useful as heck.

Theory isn't rules, it's just saying "how did they do x?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Brian Dance said:

What do you mean by transferring from mind to brain? Is there some sort of duality there that I'm not aware of?

Basically theory makes it easier for you to get the sounds from your imagination onto your medium of choice:
You might have a harmony you like looping around in your head but without knowing what those chords are (how to play them or click them into a sequencer) you're forced to work by trial and error which is slow, frustrating and might never get you there.
If you know the theory you can listen in your head and recognise the sound as a I6/9 to VIb7 or whatever, then putting it into the sequencer is quick and easy. Theory also means you know that looking at those two previous chords there is modal mixture going on (first chord is major, second chord is borrowed from the minor key with the same root) and that opens up other possibilities for where the music goes next.

Knowing how to get to a particular sound with as few obstacles as possible is a good thing. The more sounds you know how to achieve the better.

There's production theory too it just has a shorter history and isn't as codified so people don't get as intimidated or annoyed by it.
If you want something to sound like it's coming from far away you'd lower the volume, cut the high and low freqs (inverse square law, Robinson–Dadson, evolution, babies etc.) + send it through a reverb with little to no pre-delay because if the sound source is distant in the real world you won't hear the direct sound before you hear the reverberations.

You can still just twiddle knobs and jam and see what sounds cool but knowing how to achieve what you have in your head is useful as heck.

Theory isn't rules, it's just saying "how did they do x?"

That was a typo oops. Yeah fair enough, learning to label would definitely add some speed to the process, I might dive into some more theory and see if it changes my approach in any major way.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Brian Dance said:

It works but isn't a great example of melodic writing imo.

it's the best i could find on watmm unfortunately lol (from recent times). melody isn't really the forte of our fellow watmmites. i do really like the chorus melody though. 

1 hour ago, Brian Dance said:

Do you write brian? I'm in agreement that theory only widens the palette readily available to you, would like to hear your stuff.

i don't, no. 

0aTWICQ.jpg

also, i started learning theory so that i could replicate chord progressions i liked, not to write music. wanting to use that knowledge in my own music came later. i just don't have the energy to learn how to use a DAW. i downloaded a tracker about a year ago and never used it for this reason. i'm using reaper solely as a way to monitor my vst plugins but i have 0 idea how to use it.

1 hour ago, vkxwz said:

There are other ways of coming up with new music and the process of transfering from mind to brain is what i would think most important, so what are some examples of how theory would help that.

basically what brian said. 

Edited by brian trageskin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Alcofribas said:

it seems to me that if you hear melodies and harmonies in your head, you do not need advice on how to write melodies and harmonies. 

I can imagine a cake but no one's coming over for tea unless I know how to bake.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.